Friday, August 10, 2018 – 13.20 miles
Finally a cooler day today! Which was good, since the first nine miles of the day were one long, steady uphill and I wasn’t feeling inspired. I saw ants hollowing out tunnels in the end of a log and thought about how much effort it must have taken them to produce the amount of wood dust already on the ground, then continued sitting and eating chips.
Signs marked the boundaries of a mysterious ‘experimental area’.
I met Half Pint and Arrow in the early afternoon and enjoyed chatting with them for awhile. Soon afterwards I met an smelly hiker (I could smell him on the wind after he passed by) who commented that I looked oddly clean and asked whether I had bought new gear recently. No… it’s because your standards have become wildly incompatible with those of everyday society…
I dragged myself up the rest of the incline, then along the Big Huckleberry Mountain side trail because it was only 0.1 miles. I wouldn’t recommend it though since equal/better views of Mt. Hood and Mt. Adams are available from the PCT, and there was a lot of broken glass up there. A nearby campsite offered the best view of Adams, which was cradled in a bed of smoke. I’ve been coughing these last few days and I wonder whether it’s because of the air quality. I bought an N95 mask back in Bend and I’ll try it out if the cough persists with no other symptoms.
I ended up camping at an established site beside Big Lava Bed, which covers nearly a cubic kilometre. It’s a nice site, with the lava bed right there to scramble across, though the bed is overgrown and doesn’t have the same aesthetic splendor as the Three Sisters area.